Riding the Intrapreneurship roller coaster: Offer Monger
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the company or individuals named in the story.
Who doesn’t like a discount? The appeal of a good bargain not only stirs interest in a product, but also inspires the buyer to come back for more. While many ideas were brewing at various incubation centers, a dedicated team at eClerx Services Ltd. was feverishly working on a solution that would make discounts the very basis of, what was going to be, their new venture: Offer Monger.
That was a couple of years ago. Today, Offer Monger is a successful product that offers merchants a chance to promote their services and products at a corporate level. Available on Google Play Store (Android), App Store (iOS), and as a desktop version, the app promises users a mode to save on every spend. What makes the product unique is its ability to double up as a ready reference for corporate users to look up and avail of the best corporate discounts.
The app ensures users do not end up trading their personal data with random product sites. Meanwhile, what businesses get is corporate footage and assured eyeballs for their products and services. Offer Monger registers brands and their offerings, be it an online retail store or a restaurant, giving them a platform to display their rebates. Irrespective of whether it’s a weekday or weekend, users can rest assured they’ll get the latest updates and details pertaining to all relevant corporate deals.
While the team looks ahead to bigger and better plans for Offer Monger, it takes rightful pride in the fact that it all started as a tiny spark, a small step by the company's technology team. The early phase of our development required us to identify people, within the organization, who would take on the challenge.
Once we had the mavericks on board the intrapreneurship venture, the next task was to discover who, among them, would be able to survive the litmus test. The product had to be air-tight. It had to work. It had to be sellable. Eventually, we zeroed in on a handful of focused professionals from the original team, who conceptualized what the product should be like – and who were willing to go the extra mile to make the app a commercial success.
Our small team consisted of technical as well as managerial resources, ready and aware of the stakes of walking the entrepreneurial tightrope in a corporate environment. We were predictably excited when the first versions of the web and mobile application were launched. We had worked on the product relentlessly from its inception to launch. Now was the time to discover what response our product would elicit. The launch brought both bouquets and brickbats our way. We accepted both, striving continuously to improve upon it and strengthen our content.
To ensure we had the best offer updates on our app, we initially hired a team of interns, headed by a manager. This young team was out on the road, in the malls, on the web, and at various salons to get us the best corporate deals possible. The experience was fascinating. We got an interesting mix of stories from merchants. There was a chunk of local business owners for whom it had always just been a dream to be able to promote their business at a corporate level. There were others who revealed they felt cheated by some of the big-deal websites who levied various charges on them via registration, commission, and loyalty.
The new interest in Offer Monger, and the honest effort the team was putting in to introduce the corporate buyer to some of these businesses, helped it grow. Promotional offers, corporate activation, along with digital marketing, spurred it on. Soon, we had big and small brands to display in as many as 15-plus categories.
With growth came expectations. We wanted more people to be able to use the app. Initially, close to 8,000 users were hooked to the mobile app, with only 500 users active during weekends. We had to work towards increasing our weekend numbers and improve our reach. That's when the team came up with an upgraded web version of Offer Monger that could be accessed beyond office networks. This gave us enhanced coverage, and brought more flexibility to our platform, giving employees the power to access corporate deals, irrespective of the handsets they were using.
Meanwhile, we continued working towards getting more and more businesses onboard. The number of deals and advertisements on Offer Monger had visibly increased. From deals for local gymnasiums, salons, and restaurants, to concessions on luxury hotels, adventure tours, home / automobile loans, and online stores, Offer Monger was now covering a much wider audience.
With well over 125 brands on board, Offer Monger soon executed more than 25 corporate activation activities with partner brands throwing in irresistible spot discounts.
We kept improving our app, adding new features, and refining our search and appeal. One such feature called the Social Darbar got much attention as it allowed employees to invite members to birthday parties, town hall meetings, and team lunch. The feature also allowed users to share pictures and videos of such meetings with a closed group within the organization.
Our hearts swell with pride every time we look back at how Offer Monger started. Nevertheless, we are aware of the tasks lying ahead in the code lane. Features on the anvil include integration of payment gateway for easy payment, collaborating with rewards and recognition partners for greater utilization, and many more. We are happy to see Offer Monger come this far and reach a stable, more mature stage in its business, with revenues and numbers rising steadily with each passing month.
We do not believe we are done giving our best yet. It has been an enthralling journey. Our app was featured at a couple of international conferences for startups and innovative businesses. Each such step has been a learning experience for the team.
We intend to detangle a few knots and eventually take Offer Monger to organizations across India. We believe we will soon be the one-stop solution for employees to discover the choicest corporate discounts and continue helping users to save on every spend.
The Offer Monger team of eClerx operates under the leadership of Sanjay Kukreja (Principal – Technology Services), Dharti Thakare (India Products Lead), and Amit Purohit (Product Manager – Offer Monger).